SALT LAKE CITY – After the state health department’s announcement of 911 new COVID-19 positive cases — the highest single-day case count during the pandemic — Gov. Gary Herbert spent time in his Thursday morning press briefing laying out a plan.
He called on local elected officials to look at the data in their jurisdictions. He asked the 13 local health departments to use their best science and provide recommendations for staying on top of the pandemic. And he made an appeal to all Utahns to consider modifying their behavior to get control of the recent spike in cases.
Then he addressed testing.
“We’re going to increase our opportunities to have testing,” he said. “We see our testing numbers have dropped down. It’s a little puzzling as far as to why. We’re going to open up testing to anybody who wants to be tested, without having to have symptoms. We’ll be working with the legislature to make sure that this is able to be funded. We would like to not have the cost of a test inhibit anybody’s ability to go get tested.”
Thursday’s report from the Utah Department of Health indicated the 911 new COVID-19 positives were based on 5,447 people tested since Wednesday. It leaves the state’s rolling seven-day average for percent of positive lab tests at 11.9 percent, an all time high since the outbreak in March.
The Bear River Health Department reported 26 positive cases in northern Utah Thursday. That includes 21 from Cache County and five in Box Elder County.
There have been 2,952 positive cases over the course of the pandemic in the Bear River Health District, 2,422 in Cache County, 496 in Box Elder County and 14 in Rich County.
Of the positives in the district, 2,519 are considered “recovered”. There are now four patients hospitalized, all from Cache County.
There have been 11 deaths in the district, six in Cache County and five in Box Elder County.
As of Thursday there are 120 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Utah. From the beginning of the outbreak, total hospitalizations have grown to 3,401.
Also, the total number of positive cases detected since early-March has grown to exactly 60,658. Among those positive tests in Utah since the outbreak in March, 50,108 are considered recovered.
The have been 437 COVID-19 deaths in Utah which is the same as Wednesday.
As of Thursday 735,138 tests have been administered in the six months of the pandemic.
The most recent Idaho report shows 36,093 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There have been 429 COVID deaths in the state with 69 positive tests in Franklin County, 31 positives in Bear Lake County and 22 in Oneida County.